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seamonster1

Question about Eastern's fan colors

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Mounted my birds fan from this year finally. When I hung it next to another from three years ago, something caught my eye.

This years bird looked like a merriam compared to the other.

HUGE difference in the tip coloration-both outside of fan and tips off middle feathers. Dark bird was taken in Lesueuer county, light bird in Goodhue.

What's up with this? Genetics? What consistuites a merriams? I always thought the white tip was a dead give away?

If you browse the photos throughtout the this site- you will notice the same thing.

Never knew there was that big a difference.

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From what I heard the dnr traded one of the dakotas some walleye fingerlings for some merriam turkeys and released them to see how they would do here. I also noticed this on a bird my dad shot a few years ago.

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It's just a little bit of variation from bird to bird. I would have to believe that differentiation of subspecies has set metrics, similar to the Canada Goose subspecies...weight, wing length, beak size, etc.

No Merriams in Minnesota...the only turkey trading was back in '73 when MN DNR biologists traded 85 ruffed grouse for 29 wild turkeys from Missouri, which they released in Houston County.

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I have seen this as well. The bird I shot this year was a nice tom, but very bland on the coloring. The bird shot last year was beautiful. Light tips, lots of gold and even some blue. Both within a mile of each other. I chaulk it up to genetics. Pretty parents make pretty kids.

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You probably got your self some kind of hybred. Over here in SD we have them all over. The easterns breed with either the rio's or a marriems. I got photos of some birds we have gotten out in the western part of the state and the range in color is typical.

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Looking at the fan pinned out from this yrs MN tom, it looks more like the Merriams fan I mounted earlier from SD(BH). In fact, the secondaries were buff in the SD bird. By contrast the MN tom from last year taken in the same place in Wright Co as this years looks every bit an Eastern - rust colored tips and secondaries.

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